Requiem For a Rock Hound

As far as I know, I’ve never NOT owned a mountain bike. Even as a kid, I had something with two wheels, knobby tires, and pedals, and I rode that machine off road, even then. I didn’t become “serious” about mountain bikes until I was about twelve years old, but like I said, I always rolled on a mountain bike.

So, the good news is, I sold the Gunnar.

The bad news is, the money I got for it immediately went toward paying my rent, student loans, groceries, etc.

That means I can’t afford to replace it.

For the first time in my life, I don’t own a mountain bike…and it’s bumming me out. Hard.

I’ve got the road bike, but I can’t seem to bring myself to ride it. I think it has something to do with feeling unsettled: I’ve spent the last twenty years with a mountain bike in my possession, and it was more than just a toy in the garage: it was a piece of me, a rolling definition of who I am. What happens when that part of me is gone? More importantly, what happens when it cannot be replaced?

So I’m living a life without a bike. If you had asked me a few years ago if I’d be able to do this, I would have laughed. Fuck bikes, I would have told you, because that’s where I was at that point. Fuck bikes, fuck bike people, fuck bike culture, fuck it all.

Well, now I’m fucked, because I’m all off kilter without a bike. Shit, I had no idea the bike had so much control over me. It’s like a limb, and I just got amputated. Self-inflicted gun shot.

When you lose a limb like this, you’re forced to examine exactly how this came to be. Denial, anger, acceptance, blah blah blah…yep, it all applies here. I got myself into this mess. I sold the Gunnar so I could replace it, not so I could pay my bills…but here we are: D2 is an adult and has responsibilities because it’s not just about me anymore. I’ve got people counting on me. So I made the tough choice to forego the nice new shiny bike and pay my bills. Fuck adulthood.

It’s the tough choices that define us, certainly. I’ve been defined so many times throughout my life by the easy choice, the cowardly one. Staying on the trail. Ignoring bad shifting. Getting drunk and getting by. That’s fine. I enjoyed it. I reveled in it, really, for a time.

Now responsibility has come knocking at my door, and there’s nothing to do but pay the piper. I paid with one of the things I love most dearly: my mountain bike.

This is symbolic somehow, I’m sure. But fuck symbolism, too. I made a choice. I made the hard choice. Now it’s time to see if my friends are right when they tell me good things will come to me if I just put it out there for the universe to see.

 

Well here I am, universe. What have you got for me today?

RIP Gunnar Rock Hound 2008-2012. I’d like to say you’ll be missed, but really, I only miss your replacement…

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

46 thoughts on “Requiem For a Rock Hound

  1. Shit brother that sux.

    I am heading to Golden for living and maybe we can rip motorbikes around…..if I stumble on a peddler I’ll let you know.

  2. Yeah man, Golden is the goal for me and my wife as well. I’m happy to head up that way anytime.

  3. Dude, how tall are you? Me and probably everyone on here has a spare bike that’s shamefully murdered out…you know, for training in the rain and shit. I’m 6’2″. Lemme know

    Kilgore

  4. These days my commuter gets more kms that my mountain bike, and the roadie is growing cobwebs. Few of us get the time in the saddle on our bike of choice. It comes and goes in phases. Just keep spinning on what you have. If you don’t have another ride, get out with your local trail crew and build and maintain. You’ll still be a part of the scene.

    For me it was moving from BC to Oz that changed the focus. Less trails, less MTB culture, different daylight hours, different friends. For others its family or work, (or a law degree), whatever. The MTB may only get out of the stable once a month, but I’m still a mountain biker at heart.

    You’ve got knobbies in the blood. Will you miss it? Yes. Are still a trail hound? Yes. Sweat it out. You’ll be back.

  5. Hunt up an old turd for dirt cheap and you’ll be gettin your rocks off again and soon wonder what you were thinking spending all that $ on a more expensive rig. There are so many bikes sitting around bored, get one and make an old bike happy. Good luck.

  6. you own a road bike + you really don’t want to ride the road bike = sell the road bike, & get yourself a mountain bike.

    math is fun.

  7. If you can only have one bike the best option is a single speed mountain bike because it’s cheap and you can ride road or dirt. Sure you will be slow on road but speed costs money.

  8. Always had more bikes than I can use. But menniemennieyearsago I sold my 1964 Gibson SG Junior because it seemed the “adult, responsible” thing to do. I know that phantom pain.

  9. d2 – you live in CO! ride the road. suck it up! pedal a bike, knobbys or not. the simplicity of just riding will calm your brain down. time to leave the pity party behind and just ride a bike. i know a TON of people who would LOVE to have a bike – ANY bike. you have one. ride it. xxoo-judi

  10. I’m sorry you’re in a situation that requires sacrificing your mountain bike (and other things). That sucks.

    Judi said True things to you just now. Listen.

    “Well here I am, universe. What have you got for me today?” Dude. How about a lesson in humility and manners?

  11. Self-sacrifice: that was kind of my point. Not feeling like a hero right now; mostly just feeling like a responsible adult for a change. Funny, not too long ago, I was being called an entitled rich kid on this site. Public opinion changes quickly around here.

    I don’t quit understand how I was lacking in manners, so I guess I won’t bother responding to that.

  12. Just because your road bike is for sale and doesn’t have knobbies, doesn’t mean you can’t ride RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Step away from the www and roll! :)

  13. Ahhh, responsibility. It has kicked me in the nutsack more times than I want to recall. We all make sacrifices and most do not make us happy in the short term. However, character building is an important part of who we are to become and sacrifice will aid in the production of said character. As I write this I am being rewarded for sacrifices that I make years ago, sold my muscle cars, work away from my family, etc… All I can say is that doing the right thing hurts but it is temporary. Better days are ahead!

  14. D2, I get it. You are not mourning your situation, you are saying farewell to a faithful steed. These possessions are certain traps that take a piece of our soul when they are lost. But like spouses and cousins, sisters and brothers, loyal dogs, mothers and fathers, they all fall sooner or later.

    Buck up, lad! Were you to peruse my site you would find that my own sweetheart of the rodeo is a bicycle that wouldn’t bring $100 on CL or E-booger or anywhere else. Thus she is safe from avarice and loss.

    Get a copy of Siddhartha. Think, Fast and Wait. You have many friends, not the least of which are commercial enterprises that would be grateful for a chance to front out a remarkable crabon-exselsior to such an intrepid reporter as yourself.

    But as some of my fellow commenterati said above, grab any old thing and ride the hell out of it, write about it, and hang tough.

    Meanwhile, thy Gunnar is not dead, it is bequeathed. May the new owner have as much joy and intimacy as the two of you shared in the day.

    yer pal

    tj.

  15. Furthermore and unto that comment I refer you dawgs to this:

    http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/mtbwelcome.htm

    I know, BGW, I know. Go get some, D2. You might start a retro retro and we can all live without the nonsense forced on us by marketing. The first time I rode the local single track i was just out wandering about on my old Mongoose Alta and stumbled across this marked trail and said to myself, “Why not?” I launched forth with frayed brake cables, wearing cut-off jeans and flip flops; no helmet (of course) and had a fucking blast. I was upside down in the palmettos more than once and had to hump that bike (hanging here on the wall behind me) up some loose sand that would kill a normal mortal, but WTF? None of us are normal mortals. We ride! Hah!

  16. Hey all, thanks for the fun commentary. I have definitely thought about just buying a junker, but the thing is, I am in the middle of selling just about everything I own just to stay afloat. When it comes down to it, I’d rather have groceries.I’m even selling my commuter, which is, essentially, a “junker.”

    Anyway, I wasn’t really looking for sympathy here (why in god’s name would I come to DC for sympathy anyway?). I was merely reflecting on a shift in my life that I thought some of you might relate to. I’ll get another bike at some point. This is just a difficult time, like so many others, in my life. Thought you’d all have something to say about how you felt when you lost something/someone that meant a lot to you…

  17. Oh, and I gots to ax-Are you better off now than you were eight hundred million dollars ago?

  18. Jesus titty fucking Christ…

    sfb, just watch it from the sidelines. Sparky is nothing, if not consistent. It doesn’t matter what he’s said he’s going to try to do. He has a Pavlovian response. There was a time when I’d get sucked in by his antics (I’m sure you remember. It was about 4 years ago…) Now, I realize there’s no effort needed for him to embarrass himself. I hope things are well with you and you’re getting some miles in for the Mohican.

    D2, some of us understand.

    rubber side down.

    Start thinking about this now: Dirty Kanza 2013. DC takeover.

  19. @Joe— the economic recovery is FUCKING ON FIRE— the Dow is soaring, record corporate profits (why thanks, Conoco-Phillips, and gee, I paid exactly 0% tax on those gains), unemployment plunging, illegal immigration at a twenty-year low, exiting two foreign wars, gas prices dropping like a rock. I’m retired at 50, coasting easily on the profits of a modest equity portfolio, riding and skiing as much as my drunk-ass, busted up old body can. Living the dream, buddy, LTD.

    Oops, did eight years of Bush the junior leave you feeling a little high and dry? Bummer, dude. Gosh did it leave you with a negative attitude? What if there was some other possible outlook, you know, all positive and profitable. I mean, is it really necessary to threaten to shoot intardweb commenters, and to deny simple physical facts for, uh, ideological reasons? Good luck with that. Hey, might wanna check with your ‘shiners, are those fuckers using lead solder?

    Moron.

  20. Mikey, you’re bringing facts to a fight that is, for one party, based on truthiness. It doesn’t matter what the actual facts are, sparky FEELS that your’re wrong. You could throw (and we all have) every empirical bit of evidence at him you want. It wouldn’t matter. Don’t stress yourself out over this. Obama could could have the unemployment rate at 4%, give us all free government blowjob robots, and it wouldn’t matter.

  21. yeah, well sometimes I find myself typing common sense while I drink copious quantities of the local brew (Hilliard’s amber tonight, out of Ballard WA, burp) after a long ride on a sunny day. My bad. Tomorrow should be a stellar day, I’ll try for another fifty or so and I have some Pyramid IPA queued up, so I reckon I’ll pull through somehow. Y’all enjoy.

  22. …thank you, el jefe…thoroughly enjoyed that bicycle manufacturing video…

    …that’s the only thing i care to comment on at this time…

  23. @D2,

    Mate,

    most of us have been there, we know what you’re going through & we feel for you but, “This too shall pass”, you’ll be good.

    I sold motorcycles, books, records & paintings that were frankly irreplaceable, to me.

    I believe that what Rev Dick was alluding to was your assumption that you actually matter to the universe.

    None of us do, frankly, the universe has more important things to do than concern itself about us. We’re born, live our lives, maybe procreate & then die to make room for those that come after us.

    In a 100 years no one will even remember us, we’ll be those sepia pictures that you find in junk store, people that lived, loved & meant something to someone but not any more, the frame is more valuable.

    But until then, we can live our lives as best that we can.

    You’ll be right.

  24. A party based on truthiness… awesome.

    D2, I hope your situation gets better soon. Until then, ride, run, walk. Just get out and enjoy it.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: cheapest and easiest bike to maintain I’ve owned is a single speed mountain bike w/out a suspension fork. Rigid. All you ever have to do is check the air pressure in the tires. Which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t change much day to day.

  25. A good convo here.

    @Hurben, on the contrary: I don’t think the universe gives a rat’s ass about me. I’ve never believed in an “ask and you shall receive” philosophy because all evidence points to an “ask and you shall be ignored, sometimes even ridiculed” reality. The point of that line was to underscore an act of desperation, a frustration with a current paradigm. The American Dream and what have you, ya know?

    As I said, I know things will turn around eventually. The bottom line is this: I’ve spent a lot of time tackling the tough decision and looking for the easiest way out. This time I took the tougher road. I felt like I had taken a step toward owning up to a responsibility far greater than my own recreation and entertainment. This is important to do sometimes; I shared it with Drunkcyclist not because I wanted suggestions on what I should do to stay on the trail; rather, I shared to let people know I was off the trails and looking for a way back on…I can’t be the only one standing on the sidelines waiting to get in the game, ya know?

    Anyway. The solution has been good friends. Several folks have offered to let me borrow rides, and I will take them up on it while I continue to purge myself of my worldly belongings that will fetch some cash.

  26. Eight percent unemployment, and that’s not counting those who have just given up. Two percent growth. More debt than has accrued from all previous administrations. And a monstrosity of a socialized healthcare bill that was concocted behind closed doors (“We’ll have to pass it to know what’s in it.” “Transparency”, indeed.), and, if the third branch of government does its job, will be ruled unconstitutional. Billions to failed “alternative energy” concerns via cronyism.

    Immigration (can I assume you mean the politically incorrect “illegal” kind?) is only dropping because jobs for them are no longer available. Gas prices dropping? Whoopty-fucking-do. They’re dropping from prices that have doubled since your boy took office. Not to mention groceries and everything else going through the roof while those lucky enough to have jobs have seen no increase in real income.

    Jesus tittyfucking Christ, boy! Put down the KoolAid. Turn off msdnc. Vist the real world once in awhile.

  27. Joe I rarely pick up the rope in these situations but have you ever considered the fact that it doesn’t matter who is in the White House? The people that really make the decisions are not the ones you praise and chastise. Just look at campaign contributions.

  28. “that’s not counting those who have just given up.”

    @Joe— AH KNOW!!

    I collected unemployment for about a year, and now I have to limp along on interest, dividends and the various forms of capital gains I realize. Did I mention that I pay 0% taxes on this income? Flippin’ schweet, thanks Shrub!

    If you were paying attention, you’d recognize this strategy; lately it’s called “tea party,” but for a few hundred years or so, it’s been called FUCK YOU I GOT MINE. It wasn’t my idea— as you ineptly point out— I vote the other way, but hey, it’s a “free market,” right?

    Glad you’re happy for my success. Keep paying your taxes and voting for tax cuts for guys like me. You’re still a young guy, you could bring it along with a little effort, what?

    I got 55 miles today and I feel pretty good tonight (Mirror Pond Pale Ale and a splash of some Frenchy 2009 thing with my perfectly-grilled steak, so Imma gone try an go long again tomorrow. See you out there. Rubber side down, brah.

    Moron.

  29. “I can’t be the only one standing on the sidelines waiting to get in the game, ya know?”

    I feel like I’ve been on the sidelines for most of my life, and it has been 100% my fault 100% of the time. Too much worrying, thinking, analyzing, planning, etc. Very little action.

    At least you did something instead of wasting years of your life worrying about doing the right thing. You’ll figure it out, if everybody keeps the “action” to a maximum and the worrying to a minimum, stuff happens.
    spacedrift.

  30. “Sorry guys, had to go to the shitter. What did I miss?”

    D2 you suck. I just snorted out 1/2 a beer on that.

  31. D2: Have 18″ Trek 930, ghetto SS’d, made in the USA True Temper OX.

    Needs a home, will lovingly box and ship, you pay to get it to you.

    Conditions of transfer? You don’t sell it to fund what is quite simply the next phase of life, not THE phase. They all seem so important when you’re standing at their front door, and so not, when you walk out their back.

    Ride the fuck out of it, it needs a good home, and good bikers need bikes to ride.

    You don’t know me, Dirty does, he’ll back me, no BS here.

  32. Mendon, thanks for the solid offer. I have a few leads here in Colorado, but if those don’t pan out, I’ll definitely take you up on that. Thanks a ton for offering…much appreciated! I’ll be in touch.